Novell has joined the board overseeing the technical committee responsible for the development of the open source Open Document Format (ODF).
Development of the standard is being driven by the Oasis standards body, which originally introduced the document format. The initiative aims to create an open standard for text and documents which allows the content to be easily used across applications.
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Novell does not have any products which use the ODF standard, but the firm does bundle a version of the Open Office productivity suite with its SuSE desktop Linux product.
The Open Office suite now supports ODF, as does Sun Microsystems’ Star Office 8 collaboration suite.
Both products are targeting Microsoft’s dominant Office suite, which doesn’t support ODF.
Microsoft recently said that its forthcoming Office 12 suite would support Adobe’s popular PDF document format, a decision which Microsoft said wasn’t related to the growing support for ODF.
The US state of Massachusetts recently said it would require applications in some parts of its government to support ODF, a move that angered Microsoft as it could potentially limit software sales to the state.